The Walt Disney Company has fired Peter Rice, chairman of General Entertainment Content, and the company’s most senior TV executive. Dana Walden, Chairman of Entertainment for Walt Disney Television, has been tapped to succeed him, the company said in a statement.
Rice recently renewed his contract at Disney back in August, and it was set to run through the end of 2024. He is set to receive a payout from Disney amid termination. He and Walden came to Disney through the company’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox in 2017.
Until today, Rice oversaw an arm of the company that produces more than 300 shows annually and for platforms including ABC, Disney Channel, Disney+, Hulu, and FX. According to the Times, Disney CEO Bob Chapek terminated Rice during a short meeting on Wednesday. Variety added the decision was all business, not at all related to personality or behavior.
Rice was once thought to be a successor for Chapek, here making his most high-profile executive shake-up yet. Chapek has weathered a challenging 2022 so far for the company, skirmishing with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over Disney’s stance on the Don’t Say Gay bill.